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ECPs Are Taking an Active Role on the Web

CLICK is the latest in a series of popular e-newsletters from Vision Monday. It's a monthly briefing designed specifically to provide practical insights and ideas about the latest Web site features, tools and Web-based applications. Every month, CLICK provides ECPs and optical retailers with the tools they need to build their presence online and grow connections with patients.

We hope you use CLICK to discover current Web technologies and learn how online initiatives can help benefit your business. We'll feature a variety of topics including innovative ideas in Web site development and examples of cutting-edge initiatives. Tried something new on your Web site? Have a comment about CLICK? Tell us about it and we'll consider it for an upcoming feature in CLICK.
—The Editors

in focus

Vision Source Doctors Embrace the Web

NEW YORK—From regional groups to the efforts of individual doctors, ECPs within the Vision Source! Network are increasingly using the internet as a way to build their connections to patients, market their presence, link to patients via social networking and develop their “brand.”

Working Together to Build Local Presence

The 13 doctors in 12 Vision Source practices in the Las Vegas area all have practice Web sites, but the marketing group decided to do more to build the brand in the area.

“When you’re running a public relations campaign and there are a dozen offices, you need to send the customers to a centralized place,” says Stephanie Forte, of Forte Creative Media, the public relations firm that works with the regional group. So the group subscribed to EYEHUB’s premiere offering to access a more customizable Web site, a “portal” which benefits them all.

Now consumers can read bios on each of the doctors, and there’s a map pinpointing all of the Las Vegas Vision Source offices. The PR firm also launched the group’s Facebook page in July, which supplements the marketing campaigns of individual practices and the regional group. “Most of the offices carry an extensive collection of designer brands, and various offices hold trunk shows,” Forte said. “Anytime we can place a reference to a Vision Source practice in the Las Vegas fashion media, the traffic to the Web sites increases. That’s one way we can measure that what we’re doing is effective,” she added.

“We wanted patients to feel like these are their hometown eye doctors,” Forte added, and promoting vision screenings in the community and the group’s annual See the Change college scholarship program are ways to do that. Trunks shows and new product arrivals are announced there on Facebook. “These posts are subtle reminders that help keep the brand in front of the customer,” Forte said.

The Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Georgia and Colorado Vision Source regions are also among those that have portal Web sites. These search-engine-optimized sites help each doctor’s practice show up under multiple keywords on the coveted first page or two of Google searches, said Ally Stoeger, OD., of Burke, Va. See the Web sites at,,, and

A Modern Site and Social Media

To communicate with patients on large and small issues, there’s no faster way than social media. When Justin Bazan, OD., wanted to add new snacks to the reception area at Park Slope Eye in Brooklyn, N.Y., he thought he’d ask his patients. The process didn’t take months—it took minutes. Bazan reached out to his more than 500 fans on Facebook and 2,000-plus followers on Twitter. When he updates his frame collection or plans to host a block party or art show or support a youth baseball team, with a few keystrokes, Bazan can let thousands of people know. Patients can post comments regarding the service they received or send a photo of their updated look in their new eyeglasses.

Bazan uses free Web-based communities such as Yelp and his blog, in addition to Facebook, Twitter and his practice Web site to create a following for his practice. “By using social media, we are developing a base of contacts [fans, in the language of social media] who value the patient experience,” he said.

Read more about these practice approaches and others in “Social Studies How the New Media Can Work for You” in the ECP section of


Practical Insights, General and Otherwise, for Your Site

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.— Numerous sources of inspiration and ingenuity exist on the Web. One source that seems to offer insights for everyone from your Web site tech guru to you and your office associates includes Practice eCommerce which offers down-to-earth articles and advice geared to small businesses.

This site’s articles, blogs, podcasts and a free email newsletter, provide general but helpful info and pointed, simple-to-understand articles on everything from successfully using Facebook and Twitter to trouble-shooting the e-commerce functionality of your Web site.

Practice eCommerce is decidedly not opti-specific, but its original articles are useful such as “Forgotten Content Can Damage Search Performance.”

And its pointers and podcasts (“An Introduction to Social Media Marketing”) are clear, easy and interesting.


cool tools

With TheFind It's Shopped & Found

TheFind pools a range of merchant and service sites for consumers, and, with registration on UpFront, stores and service providers can register on TheFind’s new Merchant Center. They can then display, with a store’s own identity, on a home page and other landing pages, key info to visitors without them having to leave the page. Over 12 milllion people shop on TheFind every month, the site said.

Real People. Real Reviews.

YELP is revolutionizing the way consumers share information and locate products and services on the Internet. With different communities in different cities, it’s a local reviews Web site covering almost 40 states. Users write and read reviews about anything from their favorite hole in the wall restaurant to the worst downtown club—or the best or worst eye doctor experience. Additionally YELP offers social networking features: the ability to add friends, groups, events, talk in forums or message contacts. The idea behind this is that users will trust their friend’s reviews more than others.

sites to see

CooperVision has launched LensLocator, a first-of-its-kind online tool that allows doctors to search in seconds across the company’s portfolio of contact lenses to identify the most appropriate choices. Doctors enter a patient’s specific Rx, or any component of one and click on the search button. The tool scans the entire CooperVision portfolio, ranging from spheres to multifocal toric lenses, and identifies options that contain all of the necessary information practitioners need to fit the patient. The site also provides a direct link to MyCooperVision, the company’s secure e-commerce site, so that doctors can immediately place an order for the lenses. And LensLocator works on Web-capable smart phones and PDAs, allowing ECPs to access a comprehensive list of Cooper products while moving through a busy office, after hours, or off-site. It’s also accessible through CooperVision’s practitioner Web site,


According to a recent Harris Poll, 67 percent of adults—154 million people—report having looked online for health information. To help ECPs guide their patients to a credible Web resource, Bausch & Lomb has launched the new Center for Patient Insights. The Web site provides ECPs with brief PatientPoints, which offer summaries of industry trends, market research on patient attitudes and beliefs, and insights on how these data can be used to improve their practices. Information can be downloaded from the Web site and printed for future reference. The site also includes a search function that allows users to easily locate specific information.